Company admits liability for worker's hand injury

Company admits liability for worker's hand crush 25609

Radford HMY Group has admitted it was responsible for a work accident that left an employee with serious crush injuries and nerve damage.

David Potts, 31, was conducting his normal maintenance tasks and was attempting to reposition a component that had become jammed on a shelving assembly and welding machine - causing the equipment to stop working.

When he managed to get the part back into the right position, however, it started to move quickly and Mr Potts' right hand became wedged between a robotic arm and a metal frame - trapping him for a full five minutes.

Eventually, colleagues managed to get him out of the device and rush him to hospital. He has since had no strength or feeling in his right hand for several months and has been unable to return to work since the February 2012 accident.

After hearing of the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation to see who was at fault for Mr Potts' injuries. Inspectors found that an interlocking guard - meant to keep staff members from putting their limbs in harms way - had been purposefully removed.

This constituted a failure to ensure safety - as is required by law - and HSE officials decided to prosecute Radford HMY Group so that it could send a message about poor practice.

Radford HMY Group pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,388.30 in costs.

After the hearing finished, HSE inspector Cain Mitchell said: "Mr Potts suffered a serious and preventable injury because of the failure by Radford HMY Group to ensure that safety devices were maintained in an effective condition and that suitable procedures were in place to safely enter the machine enclosure.

"Too many incidents occur during the setting up and the undertaking of maintenance tasks on machinery."

By Chris Stevenson